A89 Lockheed Neptune
Two P2V-4 and ten P2V-5 Neptunes were ordered for the RAAF in February 1951 to replace the ageing Avro Lincolns serving with No 11 Squadron at Pearce in Western Australia. The two P2V-4s (A89-301 and 302) were upgraded to the P2V-5 standard before delivery of the first aircraft in November 1951. All these machines were later redesignated P-2Es. The P2V-5s were subject to numerous upgrades during their RAAF service. Initially described as Mk 1s they were equipped with nose, tail and dorsal gun turrets. With the removal of the nose and tail turrets, and replacement with a clear view nose and MAD stinger tail, the aircraft became Mk 2s and removal of the dorsal turret upgraded them to Mk 3 status. With the fitting of the Westinghouse J34 under-wing turbojets they later became Mk 4s.
No 10 Squadron was still equipped with the venerable Avro Lincoln and based at Townsville, Queensland, when it was announced that they would re-equip with twelve P2V-7 (SP-2H from 1962) aircraft ordered in September 1960 and delivered between March and May 1962. They were to keep these aircraft until their replacement P-3C Orions arrived to coincide with a move to join No 11 Squadron at Edinburgh, South Australia, at the end of 1977.
During the Vietnam conflict, No 10 Squadron operated from U-Tapao in Thailand in support of the US Air Force B-52s, using their AN/APS-120 radar in its secondary ability to detect airborne targets. Also, some of the Neptune's electronic counter-measures (ECM) equipment enabled it to monitor radar and this capability was used during the confrontation between Indonesia and Malaysia in the mid-1960s.
TECHNICAL DATA: Lockheed P2V-7 (SP-2H) Neptune
Maritime reconnaissance, patrol and anti-submarine aircraft
Two 3,700 hp Wright R-3350-32W Turbo Compound radial engines and two 1542 kg (3400 lb) thrust Westinghouse J34-WE-26 jets
Empty 22 650 kg (49 935 lb); Loaded 36 240 kg (78 895 lb)
Wingspan 31.65 m (103 ft 10 in); Length 27.94 m (91 ft 8 in); Height 8.58 m (28 ft 1 in).
Max speed (all engines) 586 km/h (316 kt), (Piston only) 419 km/h (265 kt); Patrol speed 278 - 333 km/h (150 - 180 kt); Ceiling 22,400 ft (6827 m); Range (normal) 3540 km (1912 nm), (bomb bay tanks) 5930 km (3200 nm).
Max 3269 kg (8000 lb) ordnance in bomb bay, comprising bombs, torpedoes, mines and depth charges; Eight 12.7 cm (5 in) rockets under wings.
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